Photo provided by Keiser (Fla.) Sports Information Department
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2017 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-America Team. The 17-member squad was chosen by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Committee.
Two-time NAIA First Team All-American Keivan Berges of Keiser (Fla.), who was also a preseason honoree last year, headlines this season’s selections. Last season, the designated hitter ranked among the top 10 nationally in home runs (21), total bases (180), RBI (80), total hits (99) and slugging percentage (.776). Berges boasts a .378 career batting average and .667 slugging percentage.
Peyton Deiters of Kansas Wesleyan and Jalin Lawson of Central Baptist (Ark.) are the other 2016 First Team All-America selections included on the list. Deiters ranked No. 4 nationally in RBI (81) a season ago, while Lawson listed among the top five in four statistical categories – home runs (23), runs scored (81), slugging percentage (.877) and total bases (178). Lawson was a key component of a Central Baptist club that made its first-ever appearance in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round in 2016.
Five other individuals that were named to the 2016 second team at the end of last season garnered a position on the preseason unit – Andy Mocahbee of Middle Georgia State, Gregg Veneklasen of Wayland Baptist (Texas), Andrew Gross of Houston-Victoria (Texas), Brandon Guske of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and Ben McKendall of Bellevue (Neb.).
There are two individuals on the squad whose program participated in the 2016 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series last season – Dillon White of Science & Arts and McKendall.
For more information on NAIA baseball, click here.2017 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-America Team
|C||Andy Mocahbee||Middle Georgia State||Sr.||Calhoun, Ga.|
|C||Dillon White||Science & Arts (Okla.)||Sr.||Sterling, Okla.|
|1B||Peyton Deiters||Kansas Wesleyan||Sr.||Phoenix, Ariz.|
|2B||Jalin Lawson||Central Baptist (Ark.)||Sr.||Troy, Ala.|
|3B||Nathan DeChaine||Morningside (Iowa)||Jr.||Brainerd, Minn.|
|SS||Trevor Achenbach||Oklahoma Wesleyan||Jr.||Billings, Mont.|
|UT||Gregg Veneklasen||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||Jr.||Amarillo, Texas|
|DH||Keivan Berges||Keiser (Fla.)||Sr.||Wellington, Fla.|
|OF||Andrew Gross||Houston-Victoria (Texas)||Sr.||Alvin, Texas|
|OF||Landon Uetz||Jamestown (N.D.)||Sr.||West Fargo, N.D.|
|OF||Jared Baker||Oklahoma City||Sr.||Edmond, Okla.|
|OF||Billy Johnson||York (Neb.)||Sr.||Oakland, Calif.|
|SP||Brandon Guske||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||Sr.||Spring Hill, Tenn.|
|SP||Ben McKendall||Bellevue (Neb.)||Sr.||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|SP||Daniel Butler||Westmont (Calif.)||Sr.||Lone Tree, Colo.|
|SP||Chris Rich||Middle Georgia State||Sr.||Sugar Hill, Ga.|
|RP||Kade Wagner||Southeastern (Fla.)||Sr.||Riverton, Utah|